Enalapril and Pregnancy
Studies on enalapril and pregnancy have shown that the medication presents a serious risk to the unborn child. If you are taking enalapril, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant.
For people who are pregnant, enalapril (available as Vasotec® and generic Enalapril Maleate) is usually not recommended. During pregnancy, enalapril can cause temporary or permanent problems, including death, to the unborn child.
Prior to 2006, there was a common belief among healthcare providers regarding the use of enalapril during pregnancy. The feeling was that problems with enalapril and pregnancy were generally seen when the drug was taken during the second or third trimester of pregnancy. However, that changed when a study by researchers at Vanderbilt University was published in the June 2006 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. This study showed that there may in fact also be an increased risk to the fetus if it is exposed to enalapril during the first trimester. Whether the risk to the fetus is as great in the first trimester as in the second or third trimesters is not known.
Some of the complications seen with fetuses or newborns exposed to enalapril during pregnancy include:
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Developmental problems with the nervous system
- Developmental problems with the cardiovascular system (this includes the heart and blood vessels)
- Developmental problems with the lungs
- Kidney failure
- Deformities of the head and face
- Loss of life.